Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase, a Known Alzheimer’s Disease Target

Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1161; doi:10.3390/molecules21091161

Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Department of Biology, Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg, Heidelberg 69120, Germany
Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luigia Trabace
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 27 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [847 KB, uploaded 31 August 2016]   |  


Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a common treatment for early stages of the most general form of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In this study, methanol, dichloromethane and aqueous crude extracts from 80 Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) plants were tested for their in vitro anti-acetylcholinesterase activity based on Ellman’s colorimetric assay. All three extracts of Berberis bealei (formerly Mahonia bealei), Coptis chinensis and Phellodendron chinense, which contain numerous isoquinoline alkaloids, substantially inhibited AChE. The methanol and aqueous extracts of Coptis chinensis showed IC50 values of 0.031 µg/mL and 2.5 µg/mL, therefore having an up to 100-fold stronger AChE inhibitory activity than the already known AChE inhibitor galantamine (IC50 = 4.33 µg/mL). Combinations of individual alkaloids berberine, coptisine and palmatine resulted in a synergistic enhancement of ACh inhibition. Therefore, the mode of AChE inhibition of crude extracts of Coptis chinensis, Berberis bealei and Phellodendron chinense is probably due to of this synergism of isoquinoline alkaloids. All extracts were also tested for their cytotoxicity in COS7 cells and none of the most active extracts was cytotoxic at the concentrations which inhibit AChE. Based on these results it can be stated that some TCM plants inhibit AChE via synergistic interaction of their secondary metabolites. The possibility to isolate pure lead compounds from the crude extracts or to administer these as nutraceuticals or as cheap alternative to drugs in third world countries make TCM plants a versatile source of natural inhibitors of AChE.
▼ Figures
Figure 1
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style
Kaufmann, D.; Kaur Dogra, A.; Tahrani, A.; Herrmann, F.; Wink, M. Extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase, a Known Alzheimer’s Disease Target. Molecules 2016, 21, 1161.
Show more citation formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

  1. Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Essential Oils of Selected Aromatic Plants from Tajikistan
    Sharopov, Farukh; Braun, Markus; Gulmurodov, Isomiddin; Khalifaev, Davlat; Isupov, Salomiddin; Wink, Michael, Foods, 2015
  2. Trifolium pratense and T. repens (Leguminosae): Edible Flower Extracts as Functional Ingredients
    Tundis, Rosa; Marrelli, Mariangela; Conforti, Filomena; Tenuta, Maria; Bonesi, Marco; Menichini, Francesco; Loizzo, Monica, Foods, 2015
  3. Investigation of Polyhenolic Content of Rose Hip (Rosa canina L.) Tea Extracts: A Comparative Study
    İlbay, Zeynep; Şahin, Selin; Kirbaşlar, Ş., Foods, 2013
  4. Production of fungal glucoamylase for glucose production from food waste.
    Wan Chi Lam et al., Biomolecules, 2013
  1. Absence of a Role for Phosphorylation in the Tau Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease
    Lai, Robert Y. K.; Harrington, Charles R.; Wischik, Claude M. et al., Biomolecules, 2016
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Haskap Cultivars is Polyphenols-Dependent.
    H P Vasantha Rupasinghe et al., Biomolecules, 2015
  3. Phenolic Extracts from Wild Olive Leaves and Their Potential as Edible Oils Antioxidants
    Lafka, Theodora-Ioanna; Lazou, Andriana; Sinanoglou, Vassilia; Lazos, Evangelos, Foods, 2013
  4. Endiandric Acid Derivatives and Other Constituents of Plants from the Genera Beilschmiedia and Endiandra (Lauraceae).
    Bruno Ndjakou Lenta et al., Biomolecules, 2015

Article Metrics

Article access statisticsFull-Text ViewsAbstract Views31. Aug1. Sep2. Sep3. Sep4. Sep5. Sep6. Sep7. Sep8. Sep9. Sep10. Sep11. Sep12. Sep13. Sep14. Sep15. Sep16. Sep17. Sep18. Sep19. Sep20. Sep21. Sep22. Sep23. Sep24. Sep25. Sep26. Sep27. Sep28. Sep29. Sep0100200300400500
For more information on the journal statistics, click here. Multiple requests from the same IP address are counted as one view.


No citations were found for this article, but you may check on Google Scholar
[Return to top]